The National Energy Board (NEB) is recommending that the US government approve TransCanada’s NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. (NGTL) North Montney Mainline Project. If approved, the Project will provide new capacity to meet the transportation requirements generated by the increase in natural gas production in the Montney supply basin in northeastern British Columbia, TransCanada said.
The Project includes the construction and operation of new facilities, the NEB said. It also includes a 301km (187mi), 42in sweet natural gas pipeline connecting the NGTL Groundbirch Mainline to the North Montney area in northeastern British Columbia. It would also provide transportation to the proposed Prince Rupert Gas Transmission Pipeline, and to a future liquid natural gas plant on the west coast.
In addition to the pipeline sections, the Project includes associated metering facilities, valve sites and compression facilities, TransCanada said. The project is expected to generate long-term economic opportunities for British Columbia and northern communities.
“The Project is a critical component in the infrastructure chain between prolific and growing Canadian gas supply and existing and new markets, and the NEB recommendation is a significant milestone for the growth of our NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. (NGTL) System,” said Russ Girling, TransCanada’s president and chief executive officer.
The project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects, according to the majority of the NEB panel. However, one member panel did not recommend a portion of the proposed pipeline be built because it would cross land that is “of special significance” to First Nations, who consist of various Aboriginal peoples in Canada.
The NEB also approved a rolled-in tolling design for costs of the project during a transition period, subject to conditions such as a requirement for NGTL to keep separate cost pool and accounting records for the Project.
TransCanada recently entered into a joint development agreement with Magellan Midstream Partners to construct a 9mi, 24in pipeline connecting TransCanada's Houston tank terminal to Magellan's East Houston terminal. As part of the agreement, Magellan will be developing additional infrastructure at its terminal to accomodate movements from the new pipeline. The US$50 million project would give TransCanada's Keystone and Marketlink shippers access to Magellan's Houston and Texas City crude oil distribution system.